Our first trip to Scotland is last week of July, first week of August. We have reservations in Edinburgh, Inverness, Portree, Stirling and back to Edinburgh - two or three nights in each location. We are experienced travelers. Any advice about ground transportation between the destinations would be greatly appreciated. A friend of mine was stranded by one of the UK rail strikes last summer so that concerns me. Thanks in advance.
For parts of that I would definitely hire a car - so perhaps hire on the way out of Edinburgh, or linked to Stirling. The part from Inverness to Portree is going to be a lot simpler with your own means of transport
Within Scotland there is no rail strike action as the current ASLEF and RMT strikes do not involve Scotrail. Last summer Scotrail were in dispute with their unions (as well as the Network Rail strikes)- but that is all settled now.
It wouldn't affect your itinerary but the English train companies operating into Scotland are affected by the strikes, in differing degrees.
There are numerous threads (use the search bar above) on travelling this kind of itinerary and differing opinions on how practical the various sections are by rail and bus.